Weekly video game releases: 'Super Scribblenauts,' 'Fallout: New Vegas,' 'Vanquish' - Gadgets and Tech - Life and Style - The Independent

Weekly video game releases: 'Super Scribblenauts,' 'Fallout: New Vegas,' 'Vanquish'

This week, start preparing for the light-hearted joys of
Super Scribblenauts and the Halloween-themed
Costume Quest, coupled with the post-apocalyptic desolation of
Fallout: New Vegas and the eye-searingly action-packed
Vanquish.

Super Scribblenauts (DS)
Release: North America, Oct 12. Europe, October 28.
Age Rating: Everyone 10+ (ESRB) / 12+ (PEGI)

This sequel to 2009's innovative and award-winning Scribblenauts promises improved controls and an overhauled level-editing suite. The adventurous Maxwell is again on the trail of Starites, and the player not only directs his movements but also conjures up crucial puzzle-solving items by spelling out their names. In Super Scribblenauts, extra descriptors are added for an even more imaginative approach - choose whether that dragon, knight, troll or telephone should be tiny, stinky, or multicolored.
Price: $29 / €39

Fallout: New Vegas (360, PC, PS3)
Release: North America, October 19. Europe, October 22.
Age Rating: Mature (ESRB) / 18+ (PEGI)

Venture out amongst the inhabitants of New Vegas's radioactive wastelands to track down a stolen courier package and its secrets. Looking almost exactly the same as its predecessor is not necessarily a bad thing, given the high praise for Fallout 3's grand vistas, but storyline and characterization are equally important in this sort of game. Look out for reviews to see if New Vegas is up to scratch - with development duties handled by the studio that started off the iconic Fallout series, it's hoped that this will mark a return to form.
Price: $59 / €59 on 360 or PS3, $49 / €49 on PC.
Collector's Edition: $79 / €89 (inc. poker chips, playing cards, graphic novel, 'making of' DVD)

Vanquish (360, PS3)
Release: North America, October 19. Europe, October 22.
Age Rating: Mature (ESRB) / 18+ (PEGI)

Platinum Games returns with a fast and furious shooter that combines elements from their Japanese staff's previous stellar titles ( Bayonetta, Devil May Cry, PN03, God Hand, Resident Evil 4). In Vanquish, the US Government's most gruffly athletic scientist is equipped with a super-speedy suit of shapeshifting armor, and takes on the entire combined might of an invading force aboard a solar energy space station amid scenes of non-stop action and epic boss battles. Along with Enslaved and Castlevania: Lords of Shadow, this could be one of October's surprise hits.
Price: $59 / €59
Limited edition: €89 (inc. figurine)

Costume Quest (360 PS3)
North American release: October 19 (PS3), October 20 (360)
European release: October 20 (PS3)
Age rating: Everyone 10+ / 6+

Two siblings are out trick or treating on Halloween when suddenly something goes wrong - scary monsters appear to thwart their joyous candy-gathering plans! Built on the same tech as heavy metal homage Brütal Legend but looking very different, the Double Fine studio is aiming to capture the fascination and imagination of childhood with this seasonal adventure.
Price: 1200 Points (~$15/€14), $15 or ~€13 (PS3)

Fable III (360, PC)
Release: North America, October 26. Europe, October 29.
Age rating: Mature / 16+

Lionhead director Peter Molyneux is well known for both enthusiasm and ambition, and Fable III is nothing if not ambitious. With a host of recognizable voice talent (Stephen Fry, John Cleese, Zoë Wanamaker et al) and promising another immersive adventure in the kingdom of Albion, Fable III is the tale of a grassroots revolution. Albion's wretched king must be deposed and replaced - but how will players choose to rule once in the throne of power?
Price: $59 / €59 (360), $49 / €49 (PC)
Limited Collector's Edition: $79 / €79

Rock Band 3 (360, PS3, Wii)
Also available on DS
Release: North America, October 26. Europe, October 29.
Age rating: Early Childhood / 3+

The latest and, possibly, greatest entry in the Rock Band series has seen makers Harmonix focus even more closely on using top-notch video game entertainment to improve real-world musical skills. On home consoles, the game ships with 83 songs by artists ranging from At The Drive-In to Amy Winehouse, Primus to The Police. There are also upgraded controllers, including the brand new keyboard, though guitars, drums and mics from previous or compatible games also work just fine.
Game only: $59 / €59
Rock Band Keyboard: $79 / €79
Game + Keyboard: $129 / €129
Rock Band 3 microphone: $29 / €29
Guitars: $59 / €69 to $149 / €149
Rock Band 3 drum kit: $129 / €129

Pro Evolution Soccer 2011 (360, PC, PS3, PSP, Wii)
Release: North America - October 19 (360 PS3), November 2 (PS2 PSP), November 30 (Wii).
Europe - October 8 (360 PC PS3), November 26 (PS2 PSP Wii).
Age Rating: 3 (PEGI) / Everyone (ESRB)

Once king of the hill and now launching yearly attempts to wrestle back the populist crown from FIFA 11, PES 2011 has a fine pedigree. Like FIFA, it improves the way control, stamina, and goalkeeping are handled, adjusts player animation; added to that is a stadium creation mode and an increase in tactical options. European reviews indicate that this latest PES is still a little behind FIFA but offers more in the way of strategic tweaks and lays the groundwork for further improvements in future.
Price: $59.99 / £49.99 / €69.99 (360, PS3); other versions less.

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